Optimism is something Tim Burton has not instilled in filmgoers for some time, with Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows both missing the mark wildly, at least critically.
Still, seeing Burton return to the stop-motion form, like an old friend to him, one can’t help but be enlivened with optimism, though of the cautious variety.
Expanding on his early short-film, Frankenweenie has all the makings of a return to form, as every glimpse of the film so far has displayed immense promise.
Whether Burton will be able to fully realize that promise on screen is anybody’s guess, but Frankenweenie seems at least poised to be a spiritual successor to the director’s earlier stop-motion effort, Corpse Bride, at least whereas critical opinion is concerned.
Word surrounding Frankenweenie has been almost unfailingly positive so far (just as with earlier entrant into the year’s deeper than usual stop-motion field ParaNorman) and with the talent involved, one imagines it can replicate Laika’s success, or possibly even outdo the critical darling.
As evidence, Disney presents this clip, via Total Film. On first glance, there isn’t much to it, but looks can be deceiving. What may seem like nothing more than an overboard rant from a crazed teacher is actually a turning point in the story of the film, launching Victor towards the events that will send his world spiraling out of control (that being the side-effect of him trying to piece it back together by resurrecting his long dead companion, Sparky).
In the clip, Victor’s teacher, Mr. Rzykruski, voiced by the treasure that is Martin Landau, explains to Victor, and the rest of the class, the inner-workings and effects of lighting, giving Victor the literal and figurative spark he needs.
To find out where exactly this scene takes the young boy (and what the consequences are) you’ll have to wait until Frankenweenie hits theaters on October 15th.